Tic convulsif: results in 11 cases treated with microvascular decompression of the fifth and seventh cranial nerves

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✓ The syndrome of tic convulsif consists of ipsilateral concurrent trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. Since Cushing's 1920 description of this syndrome in three patients, 37 additional cases have been reported in the world literature. Of the 15 with adequate operative descriptions, 10 had vascular abnormalities and five had tumors. The authors report 11 cases of tic convulsif treated by microvascular decompression of both the fifth and seventh cranial nerves. At operation, 21 of 22 nerves were found to have root entry zone vascular compression. One trigeminal nerve was considered normal. One seventh nerve had a tumor displacing the anterior inferior cerebellar artery into its root entry zone. The average follow-up period in this series was 6 years 2 months (range 1 to 8½ years). Eight patients (73%) were pain-free, two (18%) had frank recurrences, and one (9%) had mild discomfort. Eight patients (73%) were totally free of facial spasm, and two others (18%) had only a trace of residual spasm. These results are comparable to those achieved by treating the individual syndromes with microvascular decompression. Therefore, microvascular decompression of both the fifth and seventh cranial nerves is recommended as the treatment of choice in tic convulsif.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Bruce R. Cook, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, Room 9402, Presbyterian-University Hospital, 230 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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